On 28 June, Santa Cruz typographer Adam Lewis Greene submitted his Bible-as-literature project Bibliotheca to Kickstarter for one month of crowdfunding. Within 27 hours, the project had attained its $37,000 funding goal. People kept pledging support. By 26 July, following publication of a Verge article about the project, backing passed the $1 million mark. Two days later, when the fundraising period closed, the project had raised $1,440,345 from 14,884 backers. "No notes, no chapter numbers, no scripture verses. Just the text." What the Success of Bibliotheca Tells Us About the Future of Publishing. [more inside]
On his blog, biblical scholar Peter Enns is hosting a series of guest posts by other scholars about their "Aha!" moments--the "moments that convinced them they needed to find different ways of handling the Bible than how they had been taught." He has ten posts in the series so far, with more on the way. [more inside]
A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
If Jesus and company were around today, the Bible may look like a art & fandom Tumblr project, complete with meta essays, headcanons, and playlists. Their writers aim to "follow in the Judeo-Christian tradition of questioning, evolving, and shaking up the status quo in order to update scripture for a secular audience, offering it up as a volatile mix of narrative, social commentary, spirituality, and punk rock." In this version Jesus is a cat-loving activist, Mary Madgalene is a hijabi punk, and the mystics are spoken word artists, musicians, and bloggers.
"When laid open, the Waynai Bible measures 43.5 inches tall and 98 inches wide. Closed, the spine is 34 inches thick. The book has 8,048 pages and weighs in at 1,094 pounds." [more inside]
So as not to bury the lede, Dutch archaeologists Found a 2,800 year old document that corroborates the Old Testament story of Balaam. Some background: Balaam was a guy in the bible. He had a talking donkey and, according to some, was constipated. [more inside]
King James Programming – "posts generated by a Markov chain trained on the King James Bible and Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs." SLTumbler
Confused about who wrote the Bible we have, and why? Jim MacDonald has the answers. How was the Canon of the Christian Bible selected? There really isn't a better, or funnier, short account than this. After all, if fandom is a religion, then religions must work like fandom, right? And the epistolatory disputes of late antiquity were just Usenet to the Greeks. So if you want to know how the Doctrine of the Trinity became important, this will explain it: [more inside]
Laws Concerning Food and Drink; Household Principles; Lamentations of the Father [single-link Atlantic]
When Barack Obama is sworn in to office for a second term today, he will use two bibles: One owned by Abraham Lincoln, and second bible, used by Martin Luther King Jr.
Cornel West explains why Obama taking the oath with Martin Luther King Jr's Bible bothers him.
Cornel West explains why Obama taking the oath with Martin Luther King Jr's Bible bothers him.
"The word reclaim came up more than once to describe the rising tide. It is a revealing word, more narrative than simply descriptive: it hints at some larger backstory, some plot twist in a longer saga about our claims and the water’s counterclaims to the earth.… This story was already ancient when it was adapted for the biblical text—which is to say, it records a very old fear. Like all old fears, it has the uncanny feel of a vivid memory. It may be a memory of an actual flood in an actual Sumerian city, Shurrupal, ca 2800 B.C.E. In fact, it may be even older than that."
"the most embarrassing verse in the Bible" - C.S. Lewis "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" - 2000 years of arguments over the central verse in all prophecy. The meaning of Christianity, and hence much of our culture, hangs on the disputed meaning of a single word, "genea" or "generation." [more inside]
The Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem houses the Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible. Written in the 10th century AD and annotated by Maimonides himself, it was safeguarded by the Jewish diaspora and revered for its linguistic precision and its beauty. "The story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history." [more inside]
The Bible & Terminator 2: Heteroglossic discourse and poetic authority.
“The words of the 1611 King James Bible ring out today in books, poems, popular songs, speeches, and sermons. But who translated it, and what made this particular translation so influential? Inspired by the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Manifold Greatness tells the story of one of the most widely read books in the English language, through online content, exhibitions, and more.” Previously on Metafilter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.
King James Bible readings by top UK actors - free podcasts London's National Theatre recently staged a series of live readings to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and the glorious language that book contains. The actors taking part included Lindsay Duncan (Genesis), Patricia Routledge (Psalms), Maureen Lipman (Isaiah), Mark Gatiss (Luke) and Simon Russell Beale (Revelation). There's 12 readings in all, each of about 80 minutes, and the National has three available as free podcasts already, with the rest to follow soon. As a bonus, it's also offering Melvyn Bragg's talk on how the King James version was constructed and the main sources it drew on. I saw Bragg delivering this talk at the Cheltenham Literary Festival earlier this year, and it's well worth hearing.
After his presidency, Thomas Jefferson took on the task of re-editing the New Testament by literally cutting and pasting a new version of the text, shorn of Jesus's miracles and the Resurrection. Titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (but known more commonly today as the Jefferson Bible), the handmade book had begun to crumble after nearly two centuries. Now, after a painstaking conservation process, the Jefferson Bible has been digitized, and will be on exhibition at the Smithsonian though May 2012. (Previously)
For more than a decade E-Sword: The sword of the lord with an electronic edge has been the standard electronic bible available as freeware to anyone with a computer. E-sword is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to get to know the bible better, whether you are reading from a devotional, historical, critical, or literary standpoint; or just have a habit of getting into arguments with street pastors, doorknockers, or religious relatives and like to win. [more inside]
As an evangelical Christian, Rachel Held Evans often heard about the importance of practicing "biblical womanhood," but she didn't quite know what that meant. Everyone she asked seemed to have a different definition. Evans decided to embark on a quest to figure out how to be a woman by the Bible's standards. For one year, she has followed every rule in the Old and New Testaments. (FAQ) Her project is set to end today. [more inside]
Smithsonian.com lists the top 10 books lost to time.
For much of the time since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were the jealously guarded treasure of a select group of scholars. Now, thanks to a partnership between Google and the Israel Museum, five scrolls have been digitized and made available online.
Why A Heterosexual, Married, North Carolinian Father Of Three Cares About LGBT Equality. Married father of three boys writes eloquently about the reasons why he opposes the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The amendment goes before voters in May primary election, when heavy Republican turnout is expected. Meanwhile Senator Goolsby says that it is all about "empowering voters" "so no activist judge is able to decide on his or her own what marriage is." [original]
Officially canceled: Former Baywatch star and 1995 Playmate Donna D'errico's quest for Noah's Ark (video).
Alex Reads Creation. From the same guy who made going to Walmart fun, and making fun of Twilight entertainment: a different take on Genesis.
For sale: Philip K Dick's Bible, with handwritten annotations.
You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them. (SYTL) [via] [more inside]
"A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it “relevant” is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare." -Christopher Hitchens stands up for the King James Bible
De Nyew Testament. Gullah [also, previously] is a creole language spoken by about a quarter-million people in the Eastern United States. For decades, Bible translators worked to translate the Bible into the Gullah language. The full, HTML New Testament is available online, but a print copy can be ordered online.
So den, oona mus go ta all de people all oba de wol an laan um fa be me ciple dem. Oona mus bactize um een de name ob de Fada God, an de name ob de Son, an de name ob de Holy Sperit. 20Oona mus laan um fa do all wa A done chaage oona fa do. An fa sho, A gwine be dey wid oona all de time til de time end.
--De Good Nyews Bout Jedus Christ Wa Matthew Write, 28:19-20This post was inspired by recently reading that Clarence Thomas grew up speaking Gullah, and thinking about the implications of growing up with very little written tradition in your own language.
This is by far the coolest collection of TV pilots, pitches, scripts, and supplementary documents I have ever seen. [more inside]
Story of the King James Bible. There are still a few things BBC Radio 4 does superbly well. Jim Naughtie's current three-part history of the King James Bible is one of them.
Atheist Camille Paglia slams atheist Christopher Hitchens for not doing his research and suggests we should value the bible like literature.
Did the ancient Israelites drink beer? Although at the time beer was consumed by “men, women and even children of all social classes,” references to it in the Bible are scant. Beer production at the time was similar to bread, where wheat and barley cakes were baked then rehydrated to ferment -- a process much like the ancient Egyptian method of fermentation, as found in the Hymn of Ninkasi, which was recreated by Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing. You too can be a part of beer history by brewing your own Archeobeer.
It tasted like wafers made with honey and it covered the ground like frost. There are different sorts of manna, some of which have been tasted and reviewed by the team at the French Culinary Institute. A related article identifies some restaurants using manna today, and you can even buy your own manna online! [more inside]
"These are sample layouts from a fullsize reproduction of the entire 2007 IKEA catalogue, leaving only color and structure. With an estimated 175 million copies distributed in 2006, the IKEA catalogue is thought to have surpassed the Bible as the most published print-work in the world." [more inside]
[pdf] Clergymen in the closet -- not because they are gay; because they don't believe in God. Here's a followup.
Hear the Bible come alive in Dramatic Audio Theater! Jim Caviezel as Jesus (again). Lou Diamond Phillips as Mark. Malcolm McDowell as Solomon. Luke Perry as Judas. Max von Sydow as Noah. (warning: auto-playing video) The Word of Promise Audio Bible features over 1000 voice actors, a 150-piece orchestra, an iPhone app, 98 hours of recorded audio, and more. Meet the cast. Hear samples.
Clarence Larkin's famous Biblical Wall Charts - previously on Metafilter, but with that link defunct and this one providing excellent scans, it seems worth re-posting. Quality of parent site not guaranteed. Some highlights of Larkin's fanciful, technical illustrations of the ages of man and biblical prophecy: Rightly dividing the word of truth, The six days of re-creation, The world's seven great crises.
The oldest Christian Bible in the world. The various parts of the Codex Sinaiticus have been assembled for the first time since the mid-fourth century (but only online). Among several variations from the King James, its New Testament includes the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas.
The Book of Genesis illustrated by Robert Crumb. Extracts of Crumb's latest work, years in the making and to be published in October, are serialized in the French cultural weekly Telerama during this summer (warning: bad interface, text in French). Short interview with the author here. [more inside]
Genesis Revisited scientifically summarises the scientific field of Creation Science (warning: science) [transcript]
Biblemap.org is an interactive map system for the bible, which is great for visualising where certain biblical events are said to have occured. It's also great for people who don't subscribe to any kind of organised religion but do like looking at maps (like me!).
AronRa has done some really nice YouTube vids on science (previously). In this latest vlog An Archaeological Moment in Time, he take(s) a look at how different societies are advancing at different rates on the same date in the distant past.